Meet Jane Cooke

RRA Architects > Meet Jane Cooke

Jane Cooke
Group Operations Director

My parents came from Fleetwood but I was born in Luton, before moving to the Midlands as a baby, growing up near Henley-in Arden, Warwickshire. I currently live near Leominster, Herefordshire with my husband,  two grown up children and a very sweet but slightly mad cocker spaniel.
I was quite a studious type, but did not really enjoy school and dreamed of the days when I might become an air hostess and ‘see the world.’ I was fortunate to secure a cabin crew position with British Airways on leaving school but, in the end, I opted for a life in Front Office management, Sales and Duty Management in 4 and 5 star hotels around the UK and in South Africa.


What attracted you to working at RRA Architects?

My hospitality career lasted 35 fabulous years but there came a time when I wanted a better work-life balance and weekends off so I decided to utilise my office and event management experience out of the Industry.

I met Mark on a cold day early December 2016 for what was to become a very fateful meeting and by the afternoon I was fortunate to have been offered the position of Office Manager at RRA. Mark understood my past career – having been to or stayed in most, if not all, of the hotels and he knew the standards I was working to. Thankfully, he felt my customer service standards would be an bonus to his team of amazing architects. I started in the Hereford office on the 2nd January 2017, and 2 years later I was promoted to Business Manager, a position I thoroughly enjoy as two days are never the same!  Having always had a keen interest in architecture and construction  I am now so lucky to be a tiny part of the RRA  team, watching clients dreams become reality.


What did you dislike about lockdown?

The lockdown has been quite hard for my family, my 98 year old mother-in-law lives with us and this meant we had to shield for the first few months, but as I love my home I started to embrace the slower lifestyle– although my waistline has not been so lucky!! Going forward and coming out of lockdown I hope to be able to continue my WFH lifestyle with 1 or 2 days in the office and I am very lucky RRA is keen to embrace this new ethos too.


Was there anything you loved about lockdown?

I truly hope that all the good things that have come out of Lockdown such as; the drop in pollution, the slower pace of life and just appreciating what we have and not what we have not will continue and be it’s legacy!


What was your proudest moment?

If asked what my proudest moment  in my working life has been so far – I would say it was making the scarry transmission from an industry I knew inside and out to a totally new industry in my early 50’s – but I am so glad I did!

If this question was asked about my personal life it would have to be raising of 2 great kids who I truly adore and would do anything for!


If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you be headed?

If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow I think I would like to go back to Cape Town, South Africa, we left there 20 years ago and have never returned and I left a part of my heart there!


What do you hope people think about you?

I hope people like me – I think it is important to be liked in life but I also hope people respect me for all my idiosyncrasies, my strength of character, my honesty and my integrity.